If you believe in the science behind global warming, you're probably rightly worried by President-elect Donald Trump's pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency: climate change denier Scott Pruitt. But one state might not be bowing to the wishes of someone who doesn't believe in global warming. On Wednesday, California Gov. Jerry Brown has vowed to fight climate change, with or without the support of the Trump administration.
Trump's team has come under fire from environmentalists for many reasons, including its pick of Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt for EPA head, the choice of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry as Energy Secretary, and for Trump's position on climate change. Additionally, there is the possibility that Trump's administration could halt crucial climate change research by NASA during Trump's presidency.
But Brown, a Democrat, isn't having any of it. During a speech at the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, he said:
We've got the scientists, we've got the lawyers and we're ready to fight. We're ready to defend. California is no stranger to this fight.
As a Californian who fears for the future of our world if human actions continue to wreak havoc on the environment, I support Brown's message. Just because the presidential administration is under a different person's control, it doesn't mean individual states and people should change their stance on a scientifically proven phenomenon and take no preventative actions.
"If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite ... we're going to collect that data," Brown said, recalling his 1970s nickname, "Governor Moonbeam," which he earned during his pursuit of a state satellite, Time reported. Brown also threw shade at Trump's Texan energy secretary pick during his address, reigniting the old rivalry between California and Texas. "We've got more sun than you've got oil," the Los Angeles Times reported him saying in reference to California's head-start in developing renewable energy.
Brown's courage should reassure not only California's environmentalists and scientists, but also others around the country. Hopefully, his words will inspire a nationwide push to keep climate change research and renewable energy sources around. Trump may seem unflappable when it comes to his controversial environmental and energy choices, but political pressure can do wonders in certain situations. Let's hope Brown's words are more than just words; California will need to take action in the coming months to protect our planet. And hopefully other states will join in on this fight as well.